The first film with which Elvis would begin to work as an actor was the film "Love me Tender". On August 20, 1956, Elvis began his first day as an actor, on the Twentieth Century-Fox film set. His first film was initially going to be titled "The Reno Brothers". Elvis was contracted to make several films with Paramount, but Colonel Parker had included a clause so that he could work with other studios. These days Elvis met the one who would become being a great friend, Nick Adams, actor in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. He was really excited about the new film, everything was underway, photography would begin two days later and work on the soundtrack. Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J Fontana had come to Hollywood, because the idea was to accompany him on the film and also make session recordings for RCA. But they were rejected by the musical director with the excuse that they did not give the type or style that was required for the film.
But actually it was all set to record with Richard Cornell on drums, Mike "Myer" Rubin on bass, Vito Mumolo on guitar and Rad Robinson, Jon Dodson with Charles Prescott on vocals, with Elvis on lead. So Elvis would find himself working with strange studio musicians and in an awkward situation, although the Colonel arranged for him to receive co-writing credit. Although the recording would turn out well and Elvis was ultimately happy, he was upset that the musicians were turned away from him for no real reason, he was disappointed to include a song. His idea was to throw himself into the character and act, not to use this in another way.
He was so excited about acting that he learned all the lines in the movie. The theme song "Love Me Tender" was based on an Aura Lee song, a Civil War ballad, which Ken Darby adapted and rewrote. the filming of the film, Elvis would make his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, on September 9, in which he sang the song "Love me Tender" for the first time. Also Steve Sholes, his producer, was being pressured to record more material to publish a second album and the studio sessions would take place from September 1 to 3, at Radio Recorders, Hollywood. Elvis's role in the film was expanded, since he only had a few lines and became a little bigger, although when he read the script of what was going to be filmed he regretted it, because his character died when final.
His role was not entirely to his liking because he was an antihero and it was not his expected role, in addition to falling in love with the actress Debra Paget whom he already knew from the Steve Allen Show, but she did not pay any attention to him because she was dating Howard Hughes. The film had no plans to add songs, until Elvis joined the project. But the Colonel was very clear about the promotion that the movies would give to his songs and at all costs he would include this condition so that he could benefit from the profits from the records. Although Elvis was initially led to believe that he would not sing in the film, this was a real deception, because he thought it would be in the background. Four songs composed by Ken Darby were finally included, but he gave the rights to his wife Vera Matson, who she would be the one listed as a songwriter with Elvis who received co-writing credits and publishing royalties. Elvis was upset and disappointed to be forced to sing four songs he didn't agree with, the only one he liked was the title ballad, which ultimately changed the film The movie "Love Me Tender" was shot at Twentieth Century-Fox Ranc in Malibu Creek State Park and in the San Fernando Valley. It would be produced by "Rebel Without a Cause" producer David Weisbart and directed by veteran Robert Webb.
Elvis would win the affection of all the members, actors, etc. of the set for his charm and humility. The image of him from within him had nothing to do with what they said about him and this brought him closer to the whole team. Elvis would get very nervous during the filming takes, but he got into his character as much as he did into his music. in which the character of Elvis appears as a ghostly presence singing the title song. Elvis attended a private preview at Loew's State Theater in Memphis on November 20, 1956, accompanied by his parents and June Juanico. The film premiered at the Paramount in Times Square in New York City on November 15, 1956. There was a queue of 1,500 fans eager to buy their ticket, they had been queuing since the night before, and there was also a figure in the theater. of Elvis 50 feet tall. An impressive publicity, which would pay off since in its first week, the film made $540,000. collection, this was only surpassed by the movie "Giant". It ended the year as the 23rd highest-grossing film. Although the press was not entirely friendly, they joined in their scathing criticism of Elvis's performance, because at this moment the self-righteous protest about Elvis's effect on the Nation's youth was what was being criticized, no matter the role in the movie.
His dream had become real, but it was not what he was expecting
"Following the Path of the King..."